Governments and hotels around Australia are taking advantage of the COVID-19 downturn by inviting vulnerable members of their local communities to rest and self-isolate in comfort through a variety of outreach programs.
Adelaide’s Mayfair Hotel and Adabco Boutique Hotel has joined forces with mental health organisation Neami National to form the ‘Street to Home’ program, to provide a roof for some of the state’s most vulnerable to self-isolate, maintain social distancing and access essential facilities.
Over in Perth, Pan Pacific Hotels Group has put up its hand to provide a roof to the city’s homeless, as well as those suffering domestic abuse and mental health issues as part of a one-month trial in the ‘Hotels with Heart’ program. In all, 120 rooms are being utilised as part of this program, led by General Manager, Rob Weeden.
Speaking after the first night in which 20 of Perth’s homeless were sheltered and fed at Pan Pacific Perth, Weeden said: “I can honestly say yesterday afternoon was one of the most satisfying of my career as a hotelier and I hope that you all have a chance to meet some of our VIP’s.”
In NSW, more than 100 people so far who were otherwise sleeping rough have been helped into safe accommodation over the past week as part of a new government program to protect the homeless from Coronavirus.
The $34 million government program sees more than 300 hotel rooms being utilised to house people unable to provide a roof over their own heads. The initiative is being coordinated by a new Inner City Homelessness Taskforce, backed by community groups including St Vincent’s Health, Neami National and NSW Health. The program is backed by the City of Sydney Council, NSW Police and the Department of Communities and Justice.
“Ultimately we hope that we can move people from temporary accommodation into stable housing with wrap around supports that help them sustain their tenancy,” said NSW Minister for Families, Communities and Disability Services, Gareth Ward.